The club, as always, was dim and loud with music. Just like the last time he was here, Thomas could not fully enjoy himself. Making his way through the mass of people, he found Marcus, sitting in the chair he himself usually occupied.
“You asked to meet. Here I am.”
Marcus waved at a chair on the other side of a small table from where he sat. “Thank you for coming.”
Thomas sat. “Hmm. Last time we were here, you threatened to kill me.”
“I did, didn’t I?”
“Yes. But now she’s gone. And here we are.” That caused Marcus to wince slightly. Thomas wanted to see what level of animosity remained. To judge the danger.
“She’s not gone.” His voice was slow, almost halting. It was taking him effort to keep his emotions under control. “You killed her.”
“As you know, she gave us no other choice. I hope you didn’t ask me here just to rehash an argument that no longer has any purpose.”
“No. Now I’m stuck living this life alone, thanks to you.”
“You are always free to end yourself.”
“Hah. I know that’s what you hope. But I have found another way to occupy myself.” His grin was unnerving.
“Oh yes.” Marcus pointed a finger. “Do you see that girl over there? Black hair in a pony tail? White blouse?”
“Very nice. You found someone new. Can we get on with this, whatever it is? I don’t care who you bed.”
Marcus shook his head. “Nothing like that. Take another look at her. A good look.”
Thomas did so. She remained a stranger, nothing different about her than all the other people dancing. Still, there was something oddly familiar about her. “Who…?”
“That, my old friend, is your granddaughter.” The grin became a wicked smile as all manner of evil innuendo was packed into the words.
“My… granddaughter? I have no…”
“Do not bother. It took a lot of digging. You kept that part of your life well hidden. Your wife is long dead. Your son – her father – also died some time ago. Perhaps he never told you about her? But that is your granddaughter.”
“Am I going to do? I haven’t decided yet. But she is not one of us. No rules govern how we should treat one of them. Now you’ve seen her. Why don’t you get to know her? It will make all of this so much more satisfying for me in the end.”
“No!” Marcus cut him off. “You don’t threaten me. I have lost everything because of you. But I have broken no rule. You have no claim on me. Justify your past actions all you will. It will not save her.” With that, he stood and threw a twenty dollar bill down on the small table between them. “Enjoy a drink on me. You don’t have to thank me for finding her.” He began to walk away. “I wonder how she’d feel, knowing that what’s about to happen was caused by her long-lost grandfather?” Marcus disappeared into the crowd.
What should he do? What could he do? Thomas stared at the girl and chewed his lip as the future nagged at him.